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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis describes the type of priest the world will need after the pandemic

Archbishop Jorge Patron Wong is from Mexico. He’s the one responsible for organizing priestly formation in every Catholic seminary around the world.

On March 29 he met with Pope Francis. The date commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Pope’s trip to Mexico.

Secretary, Congregation for the Clergy
“It was a meeting in which the Pope showed a sense of paternity to priests everywhere.”

Pope Francis’ speech outlined the kind of priest the world will need in order to rebuild society after the pandemic.

He began by urging priests to look at problems as God does: with tenderness. 

Above all, we need to look outwardly with tenderness just as God the Father looks at the problems that afflict society: violence, social and economic inequality, polarization, corruption, and a lack of hope, especially among young people.

The Pope also asked priests to devote their energy to rebuilding society’s broken relationships.

We pastors are called to help rebuild respectful and constructive relationships between people, groups, and cultures within society. We do this by asking all to “let themselves be reconciled with God” and by committing ourselves to restoring justice.

He then explained the role of priests in building fellowship and unity around them and in the Church.

We must have a vision of wholeness and unity that pushes us to create fellowship, and which allows us to highlight the connections and interactions at the heart of different cultures and the larger ecclesial community.

Jorge Patrón Wong describes this vision of the priesthood in his own words. 

Secretary, Congregation for the Clergy
A priest who is tender in his relationships with those who are suffering. A priest who reconciles others, who weaves reconciliation into the family and in social circles, who builds fellowship everywhere.”

Although Pope Francis met with a group of priests and seminarians from Mexico, his message speaks to the future of the priesthood throughout the world. 

Javier Martínez-Brocal